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Melioidosis occurs in tropical/sub-tropical areas including South-East Asia, parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

It’s caused by a bacteria found in soil. Bacteria also found in mud and surface water after heavy rainfall. Infection acquired by contact with contaminated soil/water through skin cuts/abrasions .inhaling contaminated soil dust, or ingesting contaminated water.

Cases increasing in Qld due to hotter temperatures and higher rainfall. Often no symptoms, but symptoms may include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of Breath/Chest pain
  • Skin abscesses/ulcers

Treated with antibiotics, but germ is not very sensitive. Can be fatal in some cases. There is no vaccine.

Prevention is best management – avoid contact with contaminated soil/water by wearing protective clothing. Thoroughly cleanse abrasions/cuts immediately after contact.


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